Will the Panthers trade a running back? I am sure that they would if they could get some value in that trade. I just do not believe that they can get that value. Let’s explore a few key questions:
What running backs are available?
Free Agents: Cedric Benson, LaDainian Tomlinson, Michael Bush, Steve Slaton, Thomas Jones, BenJarvus Green-Ellis, Ryan Grant. Guys like Tolbert and Hillis have already signed and they took less money than they expected. Teams are just waiting for these guys to significantly lower their prices.
Draft – The draft is strong at running back with quality players like Trent Richardson, Doug Martin, David Wilson, and Lamar Miller. These guys can all be acquired in the draft and paid the relatively low rookie wage.
Who needs a Running Back?
There are several teams that need a starter at RB now: Cleveland, Cincinnati, New England, San Diego, Washington, NY Giants, and Denver.
The problem that I see is that the Panthers running backs are just too expensive. I, as a panther homer, would absolutely pick JStew or DWill over any other name (veteran or rookie) on the list. However, either of them would be among the highest paid player on the list (JStew would have to sign an extension before any trade). These other teams are not going to pay a high salary for a running back and then give us draft choices too.
Is there any hope? Yes, I think that we have an outside shot.
- John Fox has been known to spend way too much resource for a player that he knows and loves. He may convince Elway that one of his old running backs is worth big money and their first round pick.
- Dan Snyder is an idiot and you never know what he will do to get in the headlines. This is still very unlikely since his coach likes unknowns at running back and they already gave away so many picks to get RG3, but Snyder needs a RB.
- Until the Palmer Trade, Cincinnati had always been a team that made very stupid moves. They need a RB, and they have extra picks, so it is possible that they make a foolish trade.
- Oakland is losing Bush and also has a history of moves that go contrary to logic (Carson Palmer). With Al Davis gone, I just do not know what to predict out of the Raiders. I do know that they have already given up a lot of high picks to Cincinnati. I also know that they think they are one good move from a title.
Bottom Line: We will not trade any Running Back because no-one will give us a high draft pick for one. They may be better than the guys that are taken in the first round and the guys available in free agency, but they are also more expensive. Finding a team willing to pay a big contact and part with a high draft choice is just not likely.